Letters to the Editor for Jan. 26, 2017

City should not charge for services not rendered

I’ve always felt that if you paid for a service, and you didn’t receive that service, then you should have your money returned. A rather simple concept, however one that the City of Camas apparently does not understand.

The people in my neighborhood have not had their recycling picked up for two weeks because of the weather. When I asked, the city responded that they could not adjust our city services bill to make up for this loss of service.

I was told to put out the recycling for those missed two weeks plus the next one in paper bags or cardboard boxes. I don’t have enough paper bags or boxes to hold two 50-gallon cans worth of recycling, mainly because they have all been recycled in the past.

I understand that the roads were bad, but the garbage managed to get taken, even if a day or two late, but if the service is not received, then we need not be charged for it.

Martin Burrows, Camas

Levies are critical to student success

I want to encourage you to vote “yes” on the maintenance and operations levy for Camas Schools this Feb. 14.

This levy replaces the current one with a nominal increase that is needed to deliver an education that gives our children an edge once they graduate. I have raised my family in Camas and worked in education for 30-plus years, and have seen firsthand the countless ways in which the Camas School District supports and promotes students and staff alike.

The school and community partnership makes “Team Camas” a unique place. As we continue to grow as a district the maintenance and operations levy is critical to student success to fill in open gaps and provide meaningful after school programs that allow all students opportunities to grow and thrive.

Our district does a fantastic job meeting the needs of all students, whether it is cheer, dance, knowledge bowl, or state champion soccer and football teams.

I am very proud to live and work in Camas, and we need your vote to help Camas school programs make a difference in the lives of our students.

Jon Eagle, Camas High School

Former superintendent urges support for Camas levies

Twenty years ago, our family made the long trek west from Wyoming to Camas.

For my wife and I, the decision to move and uproot our three young daughters was not an easy one. However, the opportunity to work in the Camas School District, have our children attend Camas schools, and live in such beautiful area was too much to pass up.

These past two decades have gone by quickly, our three daughters have grown, graduated, left home and have their own careers. In addition, this past spring I retired as superintendent of the Camas School District.

Over the last 20 years, Camas has gone from a little east county town to one of the fastest growing and most desirable cities in all of Washington. We have seen new industry and businesses, new schools and many new homes throughout Camas. The reason many people have relocated to Camas is the same reason that attracted my family: quality schools.

In February 2016, Camas citizens continued a long history of generous support for our schools by overwhelmingly passing a capital facilities bond. Even though this bond passed just last year, it is now time for our community to consider the replacement of our maintenance and operations and technology levies.

Because of inadequate state funding to support basic education needs, the rich educational program Camas students now enjoy relies heavily on local voter-approved levies. In fact, revenue from our local levy make up close to one-quarter of the entire Camas School District operating budget. Unlike bond dollars, which can only be used for capital projects, revenue from our local levy directly impacts student learning.

Levy dollars help fund class size reduction, extra-curricular and enrichment programs including athletics, music, and drama, student and school safety, professional development, curriculum, and a variety of other student programs and services.

The replacement technology levy supports technology hardware, software and infrastructure. I have seen the direct results that technology has on the learning experiences of Camas students from kindergarten through graduation. Camas students deserve access to up-to-date technology tools that will ensure they have the skills necessary to be successful for life after high school.

The two levies that will be on the ballot in February are not new taxes, but simply a replacement of the expiring levies.

Local levy dollars provide a tremendous return on investment when you consider how important strong, vital schools are to the short and long-term health of this wonderful community we all call home.

I am proud to live in a place that values education and owns a history of great support for our children and schools. We need to continue the stewardship of past Camas generations that has led to the legacy of the excellent schools we have inherited. I urge you to join me and offer your continued support of Camas schools by voting “yes” on Feb. 14.

Mike Nerland, Camas